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Beginning Greek With Homer [Paperback]

Our Price $ 28.01  
Retail Value $ 32.95  
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Item Number 315603  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   256
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5.75" Height: 8"
Weight:   0.8 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 1996
Publisher   Duckworth Publishing
ISBN  1853994804  
EAN  9781853994807  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
This is a course for those who wish to read Homer in the original tongue but know no Greek, or are only just beginning to work through a course in Classical Greek and wish to read Homer from a very early stage. It assumes no previous knowledge of Greek. The first six sections of the book deal with the fundamental elements of grammar that are a necessary preliminary to study. From the seventh section onwards the course proceeds through the "Odyssey", Book Five, with grammatical explanations and exercises. It provides an introduction not only to the Greek language but also to one of the great classics of world literature.

Buy Beginning Greek With Homer by F. J. Beetham from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781853994807 & 1853994804

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
The Immortal Bard  Sep 28, 2008
This book is modest compared to the same-priced Pharr's Homeric Greek.
Being more compact can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. Compaction necessitates getting on with the essentials and leaving out those aspects of a course which, however interesting, may be considered as needless detail. Pharr can go into greater depth, hence its larger size. There are those who prefer greater depth from the start. For them Pharr would be the obvious choice. But if you are looking for a shorter introduction to the language of Homer, then this is book to use.
Beetham differs from Pharr in another important way; it focuses on Odyssey, Book 5 rather than Iliad, Book1. The author has tailored the book to serve both as a course textbook for a class as well as a self-tuition manual. Keeping the latter in mind, he has very thoughtfully provided an answer key at the back for the autodidact, unlike the much older but recently revised Pharr (where, much to our annoyance, no key is included, though answers for Greek-English exercises seem to be available on the internet).

The book manages to survey all the basics of Homeric Greek morphology and syntax in a mere 185 pages. The chapters are reasonably short (only 6-7 pp) and explanations are rather brief. All Greek words that occur at least twice in Books 5 & 6 are indexed. Some grammatical explanations appear only at the back as Appendices but he has you reading real Homeric texts by pg 45! Later chapters present increasingly longer fragments (with explanations), thus giving you plenty of reading practice by the time you finish Book 5. The recommendation is to go to the later books, e.g. Books 6, 7, 8 etc., in order to consolidate what has been learnt here.

Some may complain about the arrangement of the book as well as the somewhat unappealing manner in which the Greek text is dwarfed by the explanatory notes below on the same page. However, such an arrangement also provides for ease of learning. For more detailed grammatical explanations, one can have recourse to Monro's book, available at the Internet Archive:

There is a real advantage of starting Greek with Homer. You not only get to study Greek as it moved from the earlier Homeric to later Attic forms but also read great literature in its original language. Homer, moreover, also provides a way to proceed to Herodotus, who, like the former, provides another opportunity of reading a text with relatively uncomplicated syntax. This helps build confidence - a vital function of any course - though one needs to keep in mind that the (definite) article is introduced in a mere footnote on p. 7; perfectly correct from the Homeric angle, yet few things are more important for reading Greek prose than the article. Nevertheless, many have successfully moved from Homeric to Attic after a relatively short introduction. Such a move also seems not to require too much time and effort.

Due to its compact size, this book could also be used in conjunction with programs that use Attic as the usual entry to the Greek language, providing a fairly quick means to introduce the Homeric dialect - frequently a casualty of the traditional approach.

Though not perfect - few books are - this volume delivers what it set out to achieve. The only minus for the book is the rather basic font used throughout.
about the quality of the edition  Jun 9, 2007
In Italy there are no tools for the self study of Latin and Greek: the many traditional handbooks, some good, some better, all require a very competent teacher and much determination because of the very sound, comprehensive but oh-so-dull approach and exercises.

There being a very large number of secondary schools where Latin at least is still taught, sometimes by very dedicated teachers, there is probably little need for self study tools.
Therefore I was overjoyed finding out some well reviewed handbooks for adults such as myself and I bought ALL OF THEM.

Their worth as textbooks I still do not know: it will obviously take me time to ascertain it and I shall edit my reviews later on to comment on that.
What I need to say now is that I was APPALLED by the lack of quality of all these books as editorial objects: I love and cherish my books and wish them to be quatity stuff, I am ready to pay more if necessary.

The binding look solid enough, which is lucky, even if a sewn spine would have guaranteed more comfort of read.
The paper is of devastatingly poor quality, blinding white in colour.
The inking being no more than mediocre and the font just tolerable, you can imagine the fun of reading them, especially under artificial light!

The layout of the pages is utterly unappealing, different paragraphs and or sections ill distinguishable. Texts are not even justified on the right margin!

Books like these need to catch and keep the eye of the reader who is going to refer to them for many years to come: beauty and clarity of typesetting are NOT an optional feature - do not forget they are quite expensive and the publisher should have taken much more care.

I am disappointed. Let us hope that at least the content is worth my money.
start with the best!  May 12, 2007
in terms of the roots of western civilization, Homer is everything (to a language guy like me, at least ;-). don't start learning Greek with the New Testament; start with Homer (who was earlier). this Beetham book has you fully into reading the Odyssey book V by page 45; nothing like it.

learning Greek isn't so hard; put in some time with it and you begin to be able to see the Greek in everything. fluency with the alphabet is key, and that takes a little work for first-timers; but it's so worth it. and this Beetham book is a great intro!

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